What to Do If Your Device Is Affected by Ransomware, Spyware, Malware, Viruses or Worms

As discussed in our earlier post, computers, tablets, and phones are today at an increased risk of infection and file corruption from viruses, malware, worms, bugs, and ransomware. And even though we discussed different ways in which one can keep their gadgets safe, your devices can still get affected in one way or another. In this post, learn what you should do in case you ever become a victim.

Unplug from the internet by default

The first thing you should do if your devices are infected is to unplug from the internet. There are several reasons for this. One is to prevent more infection should the attack be coming from an online source. The second reason is to prevent your online connections from being infected by extension, e.g. cloud storage, emails, etc. So disconnect your Wi-Fi, turn off the data on your phone, or unplug the LAN cable if that’s what you’re using.

 

Disconnect your device from shared networks

The other thing you should do is to disconnect your device from shared networks. This mostly applies to computers at work, but phones and tablets apply too. The reason for doing this is the same as that explained above. It will stop other shared computers from being infected through your files. And two, it will stop the infection if it’s emanating from one of the shared devices.

 

Unplug from any device that may have caused the attack

In some cases, the source of the infection is rather obvious. For example, if you just plugged a flash drive into your computer and it immediately starts acting up, you can tell right away that the drive is to blame. In such cases, immediately unplug the device causing the infection. You can then have it scanned and probably formatted later on.

 

Scan your device immediately

Once you have done all the above to disconnect from the infecting source and to prevent further infection to other devices, scan your device immediately. You should have an anti-virus on any of your devices, be it an iPhone or a MacBook. If the anti-virus is outdated, update it first before scanning. If by any chance you do not have an antivirus installed, then install one immediately.

 

Restore system to previous date

In many cases, it’s possible to rollback your device to an earlier time before the infection. This is done via the system restore feature. Doing so can help reverse the infection or at least help you recover files you may have lost during the attack. You can find this in the control panel of your computer or under ‘settings’ on your phone. However, this only works if you had set up a restore date earlier on.

 

Take the device to a repair specialist

If you can’t reverse the damage done by the virus/malware, take your device to a repair specialist. They will be in a better position to advise on the way forward. They may run a stronger anti-virus system, they may format the system or they may run some diagnostics to recover lost files.

 

Learn these procedures and memorize them so that you can carry them out quickly should you ever need to use them.

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